I’m a major planner. It drives my husband crazy sometimes, but I don’t even go to the grocery store without a solid plan in place. Naturally, when we started homeschooling I was set on having a solid homeschool plan. I tried a bunch of different homeschool planners. This last year, however, I realized that homeschool planning for large families is a whole different ball game.
Homeschool Planning for Large Families
See, this year we started A-Man on pre-school and kindergarten activities, Mr. C continued with third grade, and we did some light preschool fun with Cap’n M. Planning for three kids’ school activities and the toddler was entirely different than planning for only Mr. C and letting the babies play all day. Thankfully, along the way, I learned some awesome tips for homeschool planning for large families!
Knowing Your Limits
The first and most important tip I’ve got is to know your limits as a homeschool mom, and as a mom in general. Just because Suzy Homeschooler down the road is teaching her preschooler three languages does not mean that you have to.
We do our best to keep our homeschool lessons simple. My husband does 90% of the cooking and cleaning. Mr. C does a lot of independent learning, and we love finding independent activities for the preschoolers!
When you know your limits, you are better prepared to make a homeschool plan that you can actually follow. If you know that you need an hour in the middle of the day to make a hot lunch, make sure you work that into your plan. I know that I need a few hours to get focused work in, so we build a daily “rest time” into our homeschool plan.
Keeping a Daily “Flow”
Say it with me. “I will not create a down to the minute schedule”. I mean, if you really thrive knowing that 7:45 you make breakfast and at 7:55 you get your homeschool books and at 8:00 sharp you start your first lesson, more power to you. For me? If I had that schedule and I wasn’t ready until 8:02 I’d feel like a complete failure and I’d give up completely.
There’s also the fact that Chris and I both work from home. We don’t have to be up at a certain time, and we love it. With a daily flow, our routine stays on track even if we sleep in an extra hour (or two) after a late night. With A-Man’s extreme need for routines, we’ve been incredibly blessed that he doesn’t require a time-based routine. As long as we follow our daily flow, he feels safe and secure.
We have created a daily flow that works well for our family, but yours will look completely different! I’m going to chat more tomorrow about our homeschool schedule, so keep your eyes peeled!
Staying Flexible With Your Plan
As with all things, stay flexible with your homeschool plan. Maybe you wanted to finish your history unit by the end of the month but you realize you need an extra week. Have some grace and enjoy your time learning! If the baby is being extra needy, be okay with waiting to start the science experiment until naptime.
When you go into your homeschool year ready to stay flexible, you’ll be a lot less disappointed when things go off track. As a mom of many littles, let me tell you, it will go off track! We’ve reached the mid-point of the year before and realized that we were only in November lessons… Staying flexible allows us to “bounce back” when we need to!
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